To-do lists...

An Ozark E-Zine

I know the man who popularized the concept of having a "to-do" list. His name is Alan Lakein. He's the author of "How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life."

The book was a 3-million copy bestseller when it debuted and quickly "set the bar a notch higher" in the arena of efficiency. Filled with previously unarticulated yet intuitively understood truisms, Alan's book  took thinkers to a new and improved level of pragmatic results.

His work quickly became the "industry standard" for time management. Honorably dubbed "Mr. Time" on the cover of Time Magazine, the influence of Alan's thinking has remained a centerpiece of this wholly material decision-making grail ever since.

Alan and I met by virtue of a work project. He was delving new territory, re: time management (but not actually "time management," and we'll get to that), and seeking someone to bounce ideas around with. The first time we chatted on the phone, we sort-of hit it off.

Alan became the first person that I ever electronically swapped a file with, modem to modem, at the breakneck <ha!> speed of 2400baud. And, over the course of many "firsts" and "enlightenments," Alan and I became more than creative associates, we evolved to become enduring friends.

Thus I find it interesting now, having known, admired and worked productively with this distinguished expert in his field for so many years, why is it that I can never seem to get my "to-do" list completely caught-up....?!?!?!

I find this paradox inherently funny. At least in the cosmic sense. Because intuitively speaking I know that the idea of ever actually being "completely done" (with anything) is incongruent to itself.

That is, since "change" is the ONLY known "constant" everything else becomes a variable in this great dynamic we call life. And with all circumstances being molecularly driven by an electromagnetic ebb and flow, it is logical to conclude that nothing will ever be "done." Fini. Ended perfecto. Complete. (Except, perhaps, for a medium-rare steak!)

And that maybe instead of bashing ourselves over the head with the idea that we are somehow "failing to keep up" (which I must say, Alan's work has never prescribed), it might be better for us to openly and honestly acknowledge that sometimes there is simply "too much" on our platter. And, that even when our single portion seems to hold "just the right amount" to keep us balanced, focused, alive and thriving in all directions, to remember that "change" is the only ever-present constant and thus what seems "poured in cement" this afternoon may tomorrow be dust.

Permitting ourselves the luxury (or is it a vital need?) of "letting go" this way, opens us to new dimensions of opportunity... but NOT because we have better managed our "time." Because what we have done is better manage what "managing our time" is (imho) *supposed to be* all about.

"Quality of Life."

Isn't that what all of everything is supposed to be about? Isn't that what the folks who are socially defined as "greedy" seek to improve? But of course the stigma comes hand and glove with the palpable self-centeredness of the "I got mine the hard way" approach that makes it socially acceptable to use people as pawns on the gameboard of controlling stuff.

In today's society, we call this (un-holy?) act "competition." The art of one-upmanship. An outgrowth of the science of "dog-eat-dog."

Yet the logic of science (along with the ages-old wisdom cherished by  reason) has redundantly proven that the willful perpetuation of any paradigm produces one thing only: More and more of itself.

Thus if we (in the sense of "any" individual) are to have any hope of influencing the infinite stream of ongoing change (which we are "trying" to do every time we write a "to do" list, and which -- according to Einstein  -- can and is being done, all the time with "cast thy bread upon the waters" dividends whether we know it, or believe it, or not), there is only one (known) way to accomplish this objective. And that is by homing our attention NOT on the "things" that occupy our to-do lists, but instead by aligning all our energies around what the accomplishment of those things represent in the most holistic sense.

In other words, it means we've got to invest more of our unique individuality in the act of "critical thinking" -- which has nothing to do with "being negative" (but that's a subject for another reverie). And I'm gonna be very up front to say here that in my opinion, based on my experience with the people and circumstances I encounter in day-to-day living, this is a venue in which we -- as a society -- have yet to go a very long way.

However we can take a short path to get there, requiring only the flip of a "mental light bulb" switch, IF we are willing to do the dirty work called introspection.

In fact, when we willfully probe the down-deep dusty corners of the  culturally cluttered ideological closets that line the corridors of our minds, with eyes wide open and seeking to discover the fundamental tenets of paradigms we (have been conditioned to) hold most dear (like for example the compulsions inherent to "competition" upon which our personal and collective quality of life has been built), the fact is that by and through this walk of introspection we automatically liberate the truths-untaught that resonate from the essence of our hearts and souls.

The truths that have been covered up, betrayed, and mystified by things like promulgated procedures, litigated actions, enfranchised minorities, employee manuals, economic hierarchies and corporate charities, the mechanical edicts of which serve NOT our aggregate "quality of life" and thus damage the respective quality of life of each member of the whole.

"Quality of life."

Do we get it? Do we have it? Unanimously? And if we don't, is it sane, wise or rational to believe that any one of us -- be we individual or nation -- will ever possess total and complete "quality of life" until ALL of us do?

Equally obvious, if we are willing to look at the "change & transformation" meta-level of living, there is only one verifiably known way to influence, shape, govern, harmonize and to any degree control the micro-dynamic flow of human events... and that is to influence the micro-dynamic flow of human consciousness, aka: "thinking." And this "quality of life" achievement may only be accomplished one human being at a time.

"Quality of life."

Think about it.

Does what you're doing right now add to or detract from the potential for all of humankind to celebrate the enjoyment of unilateral quality of life?

Really think about it.

And if you sincerely say yes... I say bravo!!! My hat is off to you and it's great to meet another member of the "win/win/win" club.

But if you said no... my friend Alan has some useful information for you to consider. It's about "thinking." In fact, it's about the "how tos" of "managing thinking" so that the time you invest in thinking opens you up to the self-discovery of finding more and more unique and effervescent ideas for getting each and all of us more and more of what we say we want: Quality of life. For everyone. Here and now, right this minute, no strings attached, all the time.

Sound interesting? If yes, just click here and take heed!!!

Website outage...
A powerful electrical storm blew across our community in the wee hours of Tuesday (July 22) morning, causing something to go kerfluey with the website hostserver. Thus Gozarks was "down" (as the saying goes) for nearly 2 days.

This outage also effected all the websites that Gozarks maintains (see list in right column) and the domain name based email (ie: editor@gozarks.com) that passes through them. Thus if you emailed something to any of these folks between 7/22 and 7/24, you might want to double check to make sure they got it.

Also it seems that a couple of posts to our Community Forum might have gotten lost in the shuffle. So if you made a post immediately prior to the outage but cannot find it in the forum now, please post your previous comments again.

Anyway, with all that said I must confess that I somehow feel like I want to "apologize" for any inconvenience this has caused. Yet at the same time, being critically honest, I do not see where anything has happened that anybody could have prevented or handled any differently. And, like I tell my kids, I tend to save my apologies for those times when I have actually done something "wrong."

Thus I've chosen to ask not for your forgiveness, but for your thankfulness instead. Thankfulness for the fact that we have this magnificent means of technological connectivity which works so perfectly so much of the time because we (as a society) have so many brilliant individuals putting it all together and keeping everything working so wonderfully well that we have enabled ourselves to "take it for granted" -- which of course results in us "missing it" when it is gone.

Thus when it is back... the only "right" thing to do is be thankful.

;-)

Christine

Community Forum Challenge...
Our Community Forum has been online for just a week, and it is growing by leaps and bounds!!! Really some neat conversations happening. Have a look for yourself:

View latest post Home based learning as an Educational System

View latest post Handcrafted items

View latest post [ Poll ] Can parents be cool?(occasionally yes!)

View latest post the Gov'nr

View latest post Just My Opinion

View latest post Why Iraq war was justififed

View latest post Media frenzy

View latest post Is this thing on????

View latest post Click this line of text to find useful instructions!

View latest post SUBSCRIBE to Larry's Music Alert

Thanks to everyone who has surfed the posts, added comments, created new topics, and registered.

Amazingly, from a webmaster's view, the installation of this new technology has gone tremendously smooth. Of course this is primarily due to the Administrator of the installation, Justin Bonds.

At the same time, it is noteworthy to mention that several folks have written me expressing confusion about the "how tos" of navigating, reading and posting to the forum. In some instances, this inconvenience may have been the result of subtle reconfigurations of the behind the scenes technology which were ongoing for several days.

In other instances, the most identifiable culprit was "unfamiliarity." And in extreme cases here, of which there were more than one, the sense I got was that folks felt like they'd stepped into a 4th dimension about which they had nary a clue... and were feeling powerfully frustrated by the experience. In this interest, I offer two comments:

ONE: I have now put together a set of basic instructions, covering the "how tos" that folks seemed to ask about the most. To go there, click here.

TWO (though perhaps more important): About this "unfamiliarity" thing, one dear Gozarkian put it (rather brilliantly) like this:

I, like many just don't have a lot of patience with stuff that acts up. It should just work and work easily but the guys that design these setups like Posting Boards just don't get it. I have access to several such boards and they are all alike, a pain. That is why I don't use them, they are just too much trouble and to get back feedback is as difficult as posting to start with. I suppose that once one gets the hang, it is easy.

I seldom quit on anything but I do quit with stuff like this---perhaps prematurely and at my own expense as I do enjoy posting stuff. Perhaps I am just tired. Work is very, very strenuous. So hot. My tomatoes are immense, some ten feet tall. That makes me nervous also. I am afraid a huge tomato will roll off the hill and kill a fisherman.

Don't let me rain on your parade. You do a valuable service in getting people to communicate and actually use the gray matter. Discourse is very important 'cause they probably won't let us for much longer.

~mike

Odd thought:
Perhaps it is "unfamiliarity" (not familiarity) which "breeds contempt"?

(Could that be the cause of war?)

If yes, I'm making a personal commitment to eradicate "unfamiliarity" by learning something new every day.

Wanna make it a pact? Sign-up here.

I love new things...

I think we all do. Love new things, that is. I think the penchant is  genetic.

And really, in the most ideal sense, I see absolutely nothing wrong with this... Just so long as the playing field is level and we're each enjoying a goodly measure of the kinds of "new" things that most all of us humans seem most to enjoy.

Which is why I'm so excited!!! Because I have something NEW to share with YOU!!!

It's something I've been wishing, hoping and (yeah, you're right) praying for -- for quite some time. And now it's here, in all its glory... just waiting to be put to use!!!

What is it??? Well....

TAH-DAH!!!

"Gozarks Community Forum"

beckons you...

"Come on in!!!"

Images....


"mirror mirror" by Christine Weiss

Life is art... isn't that the whole idea? Geeze, I surely hope so. Otherwise, why bother with getting involved? 

Speaking of which, for those of you who believe as I do, that we cannot build a world of truth with lies, that it is impossible to breed good will from vengeance, that the ends seldom if ever justify the means, and that the only "guaranteed" path to peace is by and through us aggressively waging humanitarian actions and strategizing campaigns for peace just as vigorously as we wage campaigns for war...

Debate continues as to the veracity of the public statements made by various leaders and public officials in the interest of "making a case" to prove the necessity for war. Sadly, this debate has been partisanized with allegations that the "outsiders" are simply slinging mud at the "insiders," and that all aspersions cast in this grave matter are, in an of themselves, malevolent in nature.

About this, I must say two things:

#1 -- God, I hope not. That is, I know that there are some ignoramuses out there who delight in slinging mud, and I'm sure that all of them are in their glory right now, inventing new "sound bite" attacks and re-engineering their pre-emptive retaliatory "photo op" defenses to annihilate their opponent while claiming their self-righteous grain of fame.

But I do not believe that this definition fits "most" of us. In fact, it seems to me that this definition fits very few of us at all. And I know with absolute certainty that this definition does NOT fit "me."

I also know that it is "our" job to get on with the business of tending to our business, in spite of the ignoramuses. We are, after all, "the people," and our work is at hand. Which brings me to the other thing I wish to say on this subject:

#2 -- If you believe with me that "we the people" have not only the right but the overwhelming responsibility to seek truth and understanding in all matters regarding the conduct of our nation as a whole, please participate in the MoveOn campaign to support a Congressional investigation of the facts supporting or disproving these allegations by clicking this link and following the instructions there.

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”
From: "Snow White," a fairy tale in the Grimm collection.


May the Fourth be with you!

With blessings of Peace, Light & Life,  from Nelson.

So... how are your burgers digesting? Holiday weekend catching up with you yet? I just wanted say a quick hello and call your attention to another round of political conversation that was prompted by a friend sending me this link to a very powerful and highly patriotic video, the focal point of which is to encourage all of us to "never forget" 9.11.

And I must say that I totally and absolutely agree with the overriding theme of this video, though at the same time I confess to having a couple of teeny-tiny niggles about the subtext. And I have some very passionate feelings about all of this.

Why? Because it seems to me that the liberties so many of our loved ones have died for are being steadily destroyed. And that this is being done to us, by us, and through us, in the namesake of us safeguarding our own security by way of pre-emptive retaliatory self-defense.

Which besides being an absolutely abysmal contradiction of historic patriotic American terms is so garbled with Orwellian "doublespeak" ideology as to make it a real challenge for even the most clear-sighted, level-headed, devotedly patriotic among us to distinguish between the propaganda and the facts. 

Thus as the holiday weekend evaporates into the mist of memory and the day-to-day challenges of "life on the ground" move along, when you catch a moment to do some pondering -- as well you should  between now and our next national election in 2004 -- consider these few thoughts about liberty, patriotism, justice, peace and security along with the wealth of commentary found in or linked to the Independence Day column (below).

Then, as always, simply put on your logical thinking cap, cross-examine your head with your heart, decide what is "best" for all involved, and do what you know is "right."

PS: In the interest of further reasoning together, have a look here.

Independence Day
The "marching band" at the top of this page is a shining example of the emails I am blessed to receive, in between the spam that clutters my Inbox. I share it here, with all of you, because we all deserve it... to enjoy the blessings of life, that is.

In this interest, I've gathered together some brain cogitating items of interest. More accurately, of course, of "my" interest. But maybe... hopefully... expectantly... you will find a few nuggets of interest here, too.

For starters, to set the tone for what may prove to be a Holiday Weekend full of stimulating, educational and spirited "Independence Day" conversation, I want to share a couple of words about spam and the war.

As I wrote to a friend, earlier today, I am still getting horrific amounts of spam -- though thankfully (due to a server-side filter installed by HyperTech) most of the offensive/smutty stuff is gone. But the amount of spam that's being sent every day continues to increase exponentially, mostly because the jerks who perpetrate this kind of stuff do not (imho) have their "human value" priorities straight.

I mean first, there really are "communications terrorists" and the stuff they are doing is having a very real effect on the quality of Internet usability. In fact, according to technology news sources, the Internet has been under almost continual "attack" since shortly before 9.11.

And I must say here that these assertions are not the conjecture of leftist or rightist (or any other) fantasists. It is simply accepted as "fact" among those of us who literally live by and through the virtual world. That is, I know that the very first time I was dunned with virus-laden emails was about a month before the NY/DC atrocity. Of course at that time I had no frame of reference to hook observation with a "bigger picture" of any sort.

But now I can see that there was most definitely a connection and that what appeared to me to be a type of "same time / same place" happenstance then, now appears more akin to substantive evidence that we -- as in "the people of the world" -- are standing with one toe on the line in the sand, poised to cross over into a lifequaking WW III.

And that this war was "officially" begun just preceding 9/11.

I support this assertion with my first hand knowledge that the "attack by email" that I (and so many others) have experienced started then and has been gaining momentum ever since, and with common "tech-guru" knowledge that this attack is being waged with a highly narrow focus, being to "overload" both electronic and human "systems" thus creating economic havoc, institutional chaos and social upheaval. 

The tip of the tip of the poison spear.

Add to this the weight of the mallet being used to drive the wedge deeper into the system: The jerks who do market saturation campaigns by ripping data from host-server guts in order to hype "get rich quick schemes" and "useless products." Then multiply this outcome by the apparently large number of innocent or ignorant or equally greedy dupes who enable these "criminals" to stay in business and I'd say that until some "cotton gin" genius figures out a "perfect" way to thresh the goodness from the chaff (or until all the "unenlightened" of the world get an "unbrainwashed" clue)... well, all of humanity together is doomed to pay a tremendous "liberty & justice" cost.

Which brings me those other rounds of cognition being offered at the alter of Independence Day, and which are grounded in the knowledge that each and every action we take will either escalate or ameliorate whatever comes next:

Candidates, Politics, and the War:
Who is electable? Why? What is really best?

This piece is l-o-n-g and should not be contemplated by the faint of heart. However, it is extraordinarily good reading which touches at the core of world affairs and the political process today. And it was written by "regular & average," intelligent, hard-working and critically thinking adults, just like you and me. Thus I heartily recommend you mentally prepare yourself as you would for a reading of the classic "War & Peace," grab a cup of your favorite beverage and dig in. Think of it perhaps as a primer on our presently prevailing Independence Day mindset.

The American Empire, Michael Moore, Saddam & J. Edgar: "Manifest Destiny"?
Authored by Michael Kelly of ArmchairHoodlum fame, this powerful mind-walk through the portals of U.S. and foreign policy history, slavery, the Contras, Fidel, and the morality of our patriotic forbearers is a pragmatic dissertation that weaves weapons of mass destruction together with "Old Man of the Mountains" style, in a wryly critical look at the current ramifications of a seemingly perpetual "status quo."

Now please, go grill some burgers, drink a beer, smoke a cigarette or throw a Frisbee for your dog to catch. But please, whilst you're doing this, think about the upcoming election year and the resonant meaning behind the word: Independence Day.

And maybe, also, please: Join me in wishing all of us a future filled with Independence Days that we prefer, desire, wholeheartedly celebrate and richly deserve to enjoy...

Christine Weiss
editor@gozarks.com

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